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Retirement Is Last Resort For Templin

Sun., Feb. 1, 1998

Just because Bob Templin has sold his Templin’s Resort Hotel to Cavanaughs Hospitality Corp., don’t expect him to slow down.

In his office, the 74-year-old hotelier’s phone rings continually.

He strides briskly down the hallways of the 167-room resort hotel he built on the edge of the Spokane River here more than a decade ago. People call out frequent salutations and he greets them by their first names, pausing to shake their hands or give a friendly wave.

After 57 years in the hospitality business, retirement, he says, is the last thing on his mind.

“As long as I feel good, I don’t think it would be good for Mary or myself,” he said, referring to his wife.

“I think she knows that I need to be active.”

So he will serve on the Cavanaughs board of directors and continue as a governor of Best Western hotels, where he will represent Cavanaughs Templin’s Resort. He’s active in the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Spokane River Property Owners Association, the Post Falls Historical Society and in Christ the King Lutheran Church.

“It’s nice to know that Bob’s going to stay involved,” said Kerri Thoreson, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.

“The nicest thing about Bob is that he’s a decent human being,” she said. “He’s also a shrewd businessman, and it’s nice to know that those two things can exist in one person.”

His humble entrance to the hospitality industry began when he was 13 and washing dishes at a restaurant in his hometown of Ritzville, Wash. Later, he and his brother, Del, opened Templin’s Grill, the first of 19 restaurants in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Fort Wayne, Ind., Templin would own.

Now, the focus of his energy in business is Templin’s Resort Hotel on the edge of the Spokane River in Post Falls.

“It’s hard to imagine what we’d be without Bob Templin,” Mayor Gus Johnson said. “He put us on the map. I honestly think he did.”

Templin’s hospitality extends beyond his business, say his numerous friends.

They relate stories of eating at Templin’s restaurants, only to find that Templin had seen them and discreetly paid their bills before they could. They talk of him giving free nights’ lodging at his hotel to relatives who come from out of town for funerals at his church. They praise his years of work on Falls Park, his work to make Herborn, Germany, Post Falls’ sister city and his tireless efforts to help out Post Falls’ school district.

“I would describe him as a very devout and committed Christian that is always there for others,” said his pastor, Dennis Lorenz. “He probably is the perfect example of what a Christian should be: very generous, kind of a behind-the-scenes guy who does many things for people and doesn’t care if they know,” said Don Schierman, who has gone to church with him since the 1960s.

While Templin plans to stay active in the hotel business, he says his family is one of the main reasons for slowing down - if he does at all. He’s looking forward to spending time with his children and grandchildren.

His daughter, Blythe Jacobs, looks forward to more time with her father.

“I’m so glad that my parents are in good health to enjoy more time together and with family and friends,” she said. “He’s a good inspiration.”

Meanwhile, Templin still has plenty of projects he’s working on.

He wants to reduce the supermajority required to pass school bonds in Idaho, and he wants to find businesses to make Post Falls’ downtown thrive.

Mary Templin said she understands her “workaholic” husband’s desire to stay involved and encourages him to stick with the projects he’s involved in and the hospitality job he loves.

“I think it’s going to be very good for him and it’s going to be very good for Cavanaughs,” she said of the sale.

One thing is certain: The Templins plan to stay in the town they love.

“Mary and I made a commitment that whatever we were going to do, we were going to do it right here,” Bob Templin said. “She’s my best motivator and supporter.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

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